Well, it's been 14 years. Bought it new in June of '99 because it was the "futuristic looking concept car that you could drive". The silver beetle really took the cake, spurred on with the commercial "Reverse engineered from U.F.O.'s." Now 14 years later, it runs and looks like the day I bought it. I wanted all manual - so I got the GL. It's hauled all kinds of cargo - kayaks, canoes, fish aquariums, metal house roofing, it even tows a small sailboat. Get the factory roof rack. Have it serviced by a knowledgeable dealer every year, and keep up on the maintenance schedule in the owner's manual. No Problems, No Issues, just miles and miles of adventure and fun.
Looks - It still looks futuristic to me, even today - a silver pod flying through space. The series Futurama has hovering New Beetles. Performance - It's a heavy little car, but the 2.0 engine does fine with it. Great for car-topping kayaks or canoes because the center of the boat is at the center of the car, boat ends don't stick out, no flags! Corners quick and agile. Stable at higher speeds. Never felt I needed more power. Family members are happy passengers. Silver is the best color if kept waxed.
I hate plastic parts in cars that are in frequently used areas. If they break, superglue won't cut it. You will need to buy a new part or deal with it. My factory tape cassette player - well - is behind the times, but you can get an adapter to play your mp3 player. Still don't like the glove compartment. It's set up with a thin shelf at the top to put your maps, and they fall out every time I open the glove compartment. I only have 3 maps! I don't know how many times I wanted open the passenger door, and had to walk around the car to the drivers side to unlock it! All these are just dinky little things. Compared to what other car owners deal with, they are trivial.